I had noticed in another post that staining poplar could be somewhat
Having no finishing experience with poplar I would appreciate any insights
the group could share, so I can stay out of trouble with my best customer.
The project is furniture with some fairly broad, flat surfaces. Any
thoughts would be greatly appreciated !
my FIRST thought is for you to stain a sample board to see if there
looks like there are gonna be "problems". Pick a stain and give it a
try. Pick up a finishing book such as Bob Flexner's popular tome on the
Ed Angell wrote:
Maybe it was beginner's luck, but the first little end table I did
years ago was poplar, stained with Minwax. Worked out just
fine. In fact, I'd become somewhat disenchanted with the piece
because it looked so bland, until the stain hit it. Improved it
dramatically, in my opinion.
Well, I would have to second this. I have used a fair
chunk of Poplar over the years, and, will, fairly often, stain it
to resemble old Cherry. It works great doing this, and since it
has a similar grain to Cherry, works well as a substitute.
I suppose, if a person were to use a "golden Oak" stain
or something like that which is more of a light tint than a stain,
the results could be less satisfactory. Poplar DOES tend to have
a fairly greenish color at times, although that does turn to a nice,
dark brown after exposure to air and sunlight. Of course, since it
it a tad more porous than some woods, one really does not want to
be smearing glue around the outside of the joint with wild abandon.
It WILL blotch and look ratty if this happens...but, then, so will
MOST woods (Norm's Magic Sponge non-withstanding).
Although Poplar has mostly been used as a "secondary" wood
for years (and it works great for that), I think it works well as
a primary wood too.
Actually. a water based stain will do quite well on poplar (and soft maple).
You should sponge water on and let it dry. Sand the raised grain off, and
then stain it.
Woodcraft sells *EF Products by General Finishes* that I've had good luck
I made a pencil post bed using poplar and stained it with EF stain. I
followed that with 4 coats of wipe on poly. It gave me a nice furniture
A few things I found out about finishing poplar:
1. Use a wood conditioner (eg Minwax)
2. Dark stains will cover the streaks of color. For tops and other flat
surfaces, try to find boards without color, if possible.
3. Regular laundry bleach works pretty well to remove streaks. Leaves
the wood rather pale though.
Try Seal Coat (straight up) or shop mixed 1 1/2 to- 2 lb cut shellac.
BTW, I only I could find a way to live in Hawaii! <G> I spent 5
weeks on Lanakai (sp?) Beach, while my wife worked at the U of H
Institute for Astronomy a few years back, and I had to be shoved into
an airplane kicking and screaming! Damn, that was a tough summer!
I make a lot of Doll furniture using poplar for my wife to sell at
craft fairs (she makes porcelain dolls etc) and I use poplar mainly
because it is cheap and I just hate working with pine....
Typical headboard on a doll bed is 12 x 12 inches I have
absolutely no problem when using a Gel stain ...... do not need any
sealer ...I just sand to 220 and apply the stain wipre in on then
immediately wipe it off...next day finish with wipe on poly...
Never tried to stain large pieces but gel stains (I do not use minwax
products...period) work well
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